Austin Nightlife Picks
by Nicole Beckley
At the DRIVE-IN
Get a dose of time travel from the comfort of your own car. On late summer nights, roll in to Josh Frank’s Blue Starlite Drive-In for some 1950s-style movie viewing. Located in the Mueller development off 51st Street, up to 50 cars can drive in to watch films like “The Goonies” and “Grease” up on the big screen, listening through vintage speakers and snacking on hot dogs and popcorn. Who needs Netflix?
For more information, visit bluestarlitedrivein.com.
Poetry In Motion
When it comes to live event entertainment, one typically thinks of DJs or musicians or comedians … but writers? Enter Typewriter Rodeo, a group founded by four writers who tap out spontaneous poems on vintage typewriters, to the delight of event guests.
“Sometimes people know exactly what they want a poem about and come up and say ‘give me a poem about frogs’ immediately,” David Fruchter says. With a few other details and a handful of minutes, Fruchter or one of the clan — Jodi Egerton, Kari Anne Roy and Sean Petrie — type up a one-of-a-kind poem. “This is the only version of this poem that exists and they have it in their hands,” Fruchter says. “I definitely think that’s part of the appeal.”
Since debuting at the Maker Faire Austin in 2013, the group has been slinging its sonnets, haikus and verses at events all over, from SXSW to the Nantucket Book Festival to the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. This rodeo rhymes with delight.
For more information, visit typewriterrodeo.com.
The stars at night are big and bright, and deep in the heart of Texas you can check them out at the Austin Astronomical Society’s regular stargazing parties. Once a month the society opens the Eagle Eye Observatory at the Canyon of the Eagles, about an hour and a half northwest of Austin, for public viewing of the cosmos.
For more information, visit austinastro.org.
If you’re looking to capture an Instagram-worthy skyline, the best place may be from a kayak on Lady Bird Lake. On full moon nights, Rowing Dock rents kayaks and canoes until 9 p.m. A few times a month you can also join their Bat Paddle, which charts a four-mile round-trip course beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge to see Austin’s favorite creatures of the night.
For more information, visit rowingdock.com/happenings.
“I’m a live painter in addition to being a musician, and that’s why I had this idea and wanted to do it,” Michael Garfield explains. Inspired by years of creating art at music festivals, in March 2016 Garfield launched Paint Jam, a monthly night of artistic collaboration at Empire Control Room.
The event invites visual artists to bring their own supplies and set to work — painting, sketching, doing blind contour drawing, creating digital art on tablets — while musicians provide a live backing soundtrack. The result is a room full of creative energy. “The inspiration’s flowing every direction,” Garfield says. The night also aims to be a space where creative folks of all ages can meet and learn from each other. “It’s like we’re going to all get together and participate in the emergence of something mysterious and wonderful,” Garfield says. Get inspired at the next Paint Jam Sunday, Aug. 7.
For more information, visit facebook.com/paintjamatx.
HOW BRAINS PARTY
Give your brain a boost after dark with two events designed to appeal to the intellectual in all of us. On the second Wednesday of the month, the North Door plays host to Nerd Nite, a series of lectures that dive deep into a wide range of topics, from cults to genetic modification to Turkish cinema.
A newcomer to the North Door, the One Page Salon invites an array of Austin writers to share a single page of their work at a live monthly reading. Hosted by Master Pancake performer and “Everyone Says That at the End of the World” author Owen Egerton, the salons are the place to spot local literary rising stars.
Read more from the Nightlife Issue | August 2016